David's Reformed Church Congregation

David's Reformed Church Congregation
Congregation of David's Reformed Church, Montgomery Co, Ohio, Circa, 1900

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Those Places Thursday - Home Sweet Home

Have you ever thought about all the poems and songs that have been written about "Home"?  Think about it. Just off the top of my head I can remember "Be it Ever So Humble, There's No Place Like Home", "Back Home Again", "Green, Green, Grass of Home",  and one of my favorites, Michael Buble's version of "Home".   On one episode of "Little House on the Prairie", Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls proclaims, "Home is the nicest word there is."  I certainly can't disagree with that.  In my nearly 50 years on this earth, I have had only 3 homes.  In one, I spent the first 10 years of my life. A typical suburban ranch style home built in the late 1950's, my parents and my brothers were the first family to move into the house, when the yard was still mostly dirt and the trees were barely more than seedlings.    The best memories of my childhood revolve around that house because it was there where we all lived together for the longest period of time.  We moved into a new home right after my oldest brother graduated from high school, and even though he and my sister in law spent an entire summer there when they married, it was just temporary and things were not quite the same as they were when we were all living in our home on Chinook Lane. My mother still lives in that second house, and she and my father certainly made that house into a "home".  It contains memories of laughter, love, sadness, and grief, the way only a dwelling lived in for 40 years can.  My third and current home is the place I moved into as a new bride, almost 31 years ago.  It was owned by my father-in-law and we rented it from him for many years before we took over it's ownership.   What a wonderful life we have had within it's walls.

But, there are other homes that helped to "build me", including that of my maternal grandparents, Leland and Gladys Norris.  A few days ago, I drove past their old home, which has yet again been renovated with several large rooms added.  My grandmother wouldn't even recognize the place.  I thought about all the times I spent there; drinking ice cold 12 oz. bottles of Coca-Cola, eating cookies out of the ceramic cookie jar, pretending to be a singer while using a part of my grandpa's bed as my microphone, imagining the glass doorknobs were diamonds.  My mother has told me stories of how she roller skated in the basement and how her father raised a field of dahlias and sold them during the depression. Stories not unlike those that everyone shares.  Since my grandmother's death, that house has been owned by several different families. They have remodeled the house, made it bigger and increased it's worth and then moved on.  They created their own memories during the periods of time in which they lived there. But, they couldn't possibly appreciate the rich history of the place; how the land had belonged to my great great grandfather, Henry Routsong in the 1840's before it was passed down to his daughter, Libby, and then to my grandfather, Leland. How Leland and Gladys had raised 6 children in that house with 3 bedrooms and only 1 bathroom.  They couldn't have known how our large family held picnics every Labor Day, playing croquet in the side yard and making ice cream on the patio. 

 Driving by the house is very bittersweet.  How I long to climb into the old wooden swing on the apple tree again; the one that Grandpa tied onto a branch that would swing and sway along with me. What I wouldn't give to sit on that back porch again and just listen to the conversations that were boring to a 10 year old, but priceless to the 50 year old me.

As I sit at my computer, in the little dining room of my home of almost 31 years, I realize that someday, this house will no longer be my home.  My children will all have established homes of their own and created their own memories.  I hope that somewhere within these walls, our voices and our laughter may still echo, and that the tears will fade away. I pray that this house will be a sweet home to whomever it may shelter.

 And now, I gaze around my humble home, with it's remaining holiday disarray and I am reminded of one final poem, "A house is made of brick and stone, but a home is made of love alone" (author unknown).  Think of how different the world would be if everyone could have the shelter of a "Home Sweet Home".

5 comments:

  1. Nice post Lori, enjoyed reading about the homes of your heart.

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  2. A nice tribute to the places you've called "home." Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) was right - "There's no place like home" and all three of the houses you've lived in exude warmth and love. And it's awesome that your gr-gr-grandfather once owned the land where your grandparents lived! How cool! Not too many families can say that.

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  3. Thanks! I am so very blessed to have had all these places in my life!

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  4. Lori,

    Great post. I enjoyed reading about your houses / homes.

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  5. Beautiful tribute, and interesting that you've only had three homes. My family moved a lot when I was a child, but my husband and I have lived in only two homes (the first for only a year, the second for 29 years!). Also, I can appreciate your fascination with the glass doorknobs - I remember those in my grandmother's house, and I could never understand why anyone would ever want any other type of doorknob!

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